The results are in: voters have empowered many people in the executive and legislative branches to carry out public policies clearly abhorrent to God – abortion and gay ‘marriage.’ Although many who voted for these candidates may not agree with their views on these moral issues, their votes nevertheless have positioned them to promote these evil practices.
The exit polls indicate that matters other than those important to God were apparently of greatest concern to voters: the ‘right’ to abortion and contraceptives, the rich paying their ‘fair share,’ charisma and empathy. We’ve known it for a long time, but this election drove the point home: those who consider the Word of God authoritative and apply it to the value of life and the definition of marriage are in the minority in America.
Our calling and our message remains unchanged: “we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” II Corinthians 5:20
The Rule of Law
The United States was founded by people who believed in the rule of law. Many of them believed that the God of the Bible is the ultimate law-giver and that he has ordained that all people, kings or presidents, are to be subject to his law. This perspective influenced the founders to include checks and balances within the formation of the government to protect against anyone standing above the law. The Constitution, reasonably and faithfully interpreted, was to be the final authority.
Since it was formulated, this commitment to the rule of law has been at risk–and never more than it is now. I believe our American society has been uninstructed in the value of the rule of law and there is mounting evidence that many people want to trust generous, intelligent, charismatic leaders to make policies that will benefit them even if the rule of law is neglected.
Christianity and the United States
The United States is not and never has been a “Christian nation.” For it to be that, I think would mean that the Word of God would be unashamedly acknowledged as the ultimate authority; all, or the over-whelming majority, of the leaders would be born-again Christians; and slavery would have been out-lawed in the Constitution. Nevertheless, America has benefited immensely from its Christian influences and has been blessed as a “Christianized” nation. However, we are rapidly losing that Christian influence.
The election on Tuesday is an opportunity for ordinary citizens to vote for their leaders. When we vote for someone, we are giving them power to carry out their policies; if we know their policies are against the clear moral standards of God’s Word and yet we vote to give them power to carry out those policies, we are complicit in their evil.
Although economic policies do have moral principles behind them and do have moral implications, one man does not have the power to change the financial structure of our nation single-handedly and there is not one clear-cut, biblical economic policy.
However, the president does have the power to affect profoundly for generations the moral and legal standards for the sanctity of human life and of the definition of marriage. Judicial appointments are critical in these issues as the courts rule on the constitutionality of our laws; we need men and women who believe in the rule of law and the fundamental principles of God’s moral code.
The Voting Church
Our goal as the church of the King of Kings is to exalt him before all people by bringing the good news by all means at our disposal to the people in our community. Our goal as pilgrims temporarily residing in a land not our final home, is to make this place as livable as we can, as reflective of God’s truth as we can and as gospel-friendly as we can.
I’m voting for people I think will slow the slide of the de-Christianizing of our culture. I’m voting for people who I think believe in the rule of law, who respect the moral code of the Word of God, who respect life (born and unborn), who respect the institution of marriage as God ordained from the beginning as between one man and one woman.
Renewal, for a Christian, is taking place not in spite of difficulties and troubles, but because of them. Difficulties and disappointments and sufferings, even the deterioration of our bodies, are loosening our grip on the things of this world. They are causing our hands to lose the desire to grasp, to hold on to the things of this world, to get some security here. Our security must be in God himself. Our focus must be on that which is eternal, not on that which can be taken from us and will be taken from us soon.
The Lord uses troubles to turn us from loving the world and the things in it. He is committed to getting rid of the idols in our lives. He must be and He wants to be and He insists upon being the center of our lives–the one for whom we have the most affection, the one in whom we delight the most. He has commanded it. Even our stranglehold on good things, like family relationships, our jobs, even things that we do in ministry, helping other people–things that are not evil in themselves–may claim more of our affection than Christ Himself. And so He sends difficulties and trials to take the glitter off of them, to scrub off the facade so you can see: these things are not really all that after all. He does this so that He may fill up our desires and increase our longing to be with Him. Get a hold on this now! You will save yourself a lot of unnecessarily wasted time in your life!
“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” Therefore, the carefully constructed strategies of man cannot gain the victory, but only effect cosmetic changes. The Word of God, however, “is quick and powerful…penetrating…” The Holy Spirit brings that Word into the dank, dark dungeons of the soul and breathes life and light. What a never-routine privilege to “hold forth the Word of life!
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1
‘Shame’ is viewed by many in our postmodern, post-moral society as an archaic remnant of a puritanical past, thankfully left behind by educated, enlightened and psychologically sophisticated people. At worst, it is seen as an abusive, though effective, tool crafted by religious leaders to manipulate and dominate the weak. God’s revelation to us about the things really are, however, speaks repeatedly and unapologetically about true, and clearly deserved, shame. Our first parents hid in shame from God and each other. This pattern has continued in every culture since. It is a telltale indictment of our day that there is such a concerted effort to remove it from the human experience: if there actually is no good or evil, no right or wrong, then there is no legitimate basis for shame. But Jesus Christ, God himself, bore the shame of our true moral guilt so that those who are His should not be ashamed on the final day! We can know now the cleansing of our consciences to serve the Holy God with joy and confidence.